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APRIL 2018

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TUESDAY

APRIL

COURSE DATES & EVENTS

 Society for Theatre Research Annual Lecture Series 2018

Society for Theatre Research Annual Lecture Series 2018

‘Alternative Comedy: Its Beginnings Told Through Unpublished Documents from the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive’

By Dr Oliver Double, Research Centre Director of Comedy and Popular Performance, University of Kent

Tuesday 3rd April 2018 @ 7:30pm

Swedenborg Hall, London

When alternative comedy began in 1979, it reinvented the form of stand-up. This lecture will trace the beginnings of this revolution in British entertainment using artefacts from the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive, including publicity materials, business records, script notes, correspondence, unpublished performance recordings and interviews. It will examine how the opening of the Comedy Store, the formation of the group Alternative Cabaret and the subsequent opening of the Comic Strip each contributed to the beginning of the new scene. It will then explore how the circuit spread and became established, exploring such examples as an attempt to form a comedy trade union in 1983, Ivor Dembina’s Pranksters agency, and how the new stand-up became established at the Edinburgh Fringe. In the course of this, it will show how ground-breaking comedians like Tony Allen, Alexei Sayle, Pauline Melville, Andy de la Tour, Arnold Brown, Jim Barclay and Ben Elton changed British comedy.

Oliver Double is reader in Drama at the University of Kent, where he has established the Popular & Comic Performance (PCP) research centre and the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive (BSUCA). He is author of Stand-Up! On Being a Comedian (1997), Britain had Talent: A History of Variety Theatre (2012) and Getting the Joke: The Inner Workings of Stand-Up Comedy (2nd edition, 2014), and is co-editor of and edited collection, Popular Performance (2017). Before becoming an academic he was a professional comedian, and he continues to explore the creative possibilities of stand-up, performing both locally and sometimes as far afield as Orlando, Florida. He also presents a podcast based on archive material held in BSUCA, A History of Comedy in Several Objects, which is available on iTunes.

 

The lecture will be livestreamed – follow the STR New Researchers’ Network https://twitter.com/nrn_str for updates

 

Address:

Swedenborg Hall
20 Bloomsbury Way,
London
WC1A 2TH

Nearest Tube: Holborn

The Society for Theatre Research Annual Lecture Series is free and open to all.

About the Society for Theatre Research

Since 1948, the STR has advanced research into British-related theatre. We run lectures and conferences, publish books and journals, offer funding and prizes and promote excellent scholarship and support the continuing development of practice. We are dedicated to encouraging conversations between theatre scholars, industry professionals, and the public.

To find out more about how to become a member, visit our website: www.str.org.uk

LOCATION

Swedenborg Hall
20 Bloomsbury Way,
London
WC1A 2TH